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Geisel Backstops Saints to Sweep of Musekgon

By Jordan Kuhns, 10/30/21, 9:45PM CDT

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Halliday’s three-point night stokes offense; Connors scores lone shootout goal

MUSKEGON, Mich. — On Mischief Night, the Dubuque Fighting Saints were mischievous. Down 3-1, the Saints rallied back to tie the game, force overtime, and win it in a shootout. Kenny Connors scored the lone shootout goal, and Paxton Geisel stopped all three shooters for the Lumberjacks, as the Saints defeated Muskegon 4-3 on Saturday night at Mercy Health Arena.

In the top of the first round, Connors ripped a shot five hole on Cameron Korpi to open the scoring in the skills competition. Geisel denied Quinn Hutson, Philip Tresca and Ben Strinden to preserve that precious one-goal lead and close out the win.

Geisel was forced to backstop the Fighting Saints against a strong Muskegon push in the opening period. The Jacks fired 10 shots on net, and he stopped nine of them. He made 27 saves in the victory, and helped the penalty kill remain a perfect six-for-six in regulation time.

Muskegon held a 1-0 lead after the first period, and extended their lead to 3-1 after Connor Kurth tied the game at one early in the second period. Jacob Braccini and Tyler Hotson scored within a minute and 20 seconds to extend Muskegon’s lead. However, the Fighting Saints, much like they have throughout the rest of the season, never wavered.

Stephen Halliday took advantage of a Muskegon gaffe, as they were flagged for too many men on the ice. Nikita Borodayenko drove down the wing, and his centering pass tipped off of Halliday’s stick to cut Muskegon’s lead to one.

28 seconds into the third period, the Fighting Saints tied it. Connor Kurth and Ryan Beck created a mad scramble in front of the net, and Halliday cleaned up the crumbs into an empty net to tie the game. Both teams played conservatively throughout the rest of the third period, which led to overtime.

The Fighting Saints’ power play remained scalding hot, as they converted on two of their three opportunities on the night.

The win makes the Fighting Saints the lone team without a regulation loss in the USHL.

Dubuque is back in action on Friday, November 5 against the Waterloo Black Hawks at 7:05 p.m.